Here in the cradle of Mardi Gras, schools and businesses have shut down while the parades roll and the revelers dance in the streets downtown. Warm, damp, windy weather is blowing ashore from the Gulf of Mexico. Suddenly it’s short-sleeve weather again. The garden is calling! We spent all of yesterday turning the patch of soil that will soon be planted with early potatoes, and after hauling and spreading five loads of compost I’m reminded of my unfulfilled resolution to exercise more. Ouch!

thickbilledparrot2.jpg     leaf-frog-postcard.jpg

I’ve completed two more gouache paintings for my show, Postcards from the Edge of Extinction.  Meet the Thick-Billed Parrot (Mexico) and the Splendid Leaf Frog (Central America).  The patterns on the leaf frog’s skin truly ARE splendid… and fun to paint, too.

The Perfect Man gave me an early Valentines Day present this afternoon: a wonderfully intricate Andy English wood engraving, Two Turtle Doves. For Andy’s fascinating step-by-step post on how he created this lovely image — and a photo of the finished print — click here. Prepare to be amazed!